Eating disorders can be overcome. While this may seem impossible before or during treatment, many people leaving a residential care facility feel like they have received a new lease on life. New, healthy eating behaviours, thought processes and habits have been formed. But how difficult is it to cope with eating disorders after residential treatment?
When you go back to your daily routine of school, college, friends, romantic relationships, parents, homework, tests and after-school activities, it can be easy to get caught up newfound challenges and stresses. While you have the tools and support you needed to overcome your challenge, it’s vital that you reach out to your support structure so that you can continue to implement the positive changes you have already made.
Support Systems for Anyone with an Eating Disorder
Maintaining change after intensive residential treatment should be one of the things that you, your family and your friends need to keep in mind after leaving. Before you leave, research your options. Find local eating disorder support groups that host weekly meetings. It is also advised that you schedule regular follow-up appointments with your counsellor, psychologist and / or doctor so that you can talk about your progress, challenges and any physical or psychological issues that you might be experiencing. If you were admitted to a residential treatment facility, find out about their outpatient and after-care programs that you can attend.
Information for Young Adults
Relapse rates in eating disorders range from 33% to 63% after treatment (Field et al., 1997; Herzog et al., 1999; Keel & Mitchell, 1997; Olmstead, Kaplan, & Rockert, 1994) and repeated admissions to treatment programs are common (Woodside, Kohn, & Kerr, 1998). The authors of these studies have also proved that disorders such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder can impede eating disorder treatments. It’s vital that you seek out the right after-care so that you can continue to effectively deal with any mental or physical consequences of your illness.
For those who can't imagine a life without anorexia, bulimia, or eating disorders otherwise unspecified, The Woodstone Residence offers hope.